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Patrick Arenz Named a Finalist for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—May 30, 2018—Patrick Arenz, partner and chair of the Pro Bono Committee at Robins Kaplan LLP®, has been selected as one of four finalists for Public Justice’s 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year award. This prestigious award is presented to the attorney(s) who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.

Arenz was recognized for his pro bono victory in Vang v. Prataya, believed to be the first civil jury verdict ever in a sex tourism case. In May 2017, Arenz secured a $950,000 jury verdict in a federal lawsuit on behalf of Panyia Vang, a sex tourism victim who was found by a jury to have been sexually assaulted by a U.S. citizen in Laos when she was 14 years old. Arenz and his team at Robins Kaplan presented evidence in federal court that defendant Thiawachu Prataya, a U.S. citizen, traveled from the U.S. to Laos in 2006 and engaged in a sexual act with Vang by using force against her. The evidence showed that she became pregnant as a result of the encounter and suffered significant physical and emotional pain from the sexual assault.

Arenz, who was promoted to partner at Robins Kaplan earlier this year, consistently plays a lead role on pro bono lawsuits being handled by the firm. As chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, Arenz also developed the firm’s Orders for Protection (OFP) Trial Skills Program, which delivers volunteer legal services to assist survivors of domestic violence with obtaining OFPs.

Additional information about the finalists for this award is available here. All finalists will be honored, and the winner will be announced, at the Public Justice 2018 Annual Gala on July 9.